PUSH: Fetuses Gone Wild!

Read all of PUSH: One Man's Journey

Week 13

Some interesting developments inside my wife this week. According to pregnancyguideonline.com, her poor elastic uterus is shifting up and forward, so it won't be harassing her bladder as much. This means her daily trips to the toilet should dwindle considerably. (For now.) And nearly all of Babu's organs have formed. The webbing between its fingers and toes has diappeared; its hair and nails are growing. And more good news! Around this time, our fetus has begun peeing freely in its amniotic fluid. We're so proud.

This morning, I was brushing my teeth when Sarah walked in, stood over the toilet, and violently dry heaved for two solid minutes. And for some reason, I watched. Then, just as suddenly as she'd entered, she wiped her mouth, walked out, and headed to the kitchen for a banana smoothie. I was shellshocked, the Crest dripping down my chin. Throwing up has become just part of her morning routine, like reading the comics or making the bed. I may have to start locking the bathroom door.

Nothing seems to help her stomach. Bowel movements, vomiting, eating: they all just make it worse. She says that acidy feeling is always there, roiling around in her stomach, like having a raging hangover every day. According to my research (OK, I went on babycenter.com), a hormone called progesterone is currently "relaxing the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up the pipe." Mmm, sounds lovely.

I also read that I need to make sure she's not drinking a lot of fluids during meals, which could distend her stomach and intensify her heartburn. Huh? All I know is she should still be drinking eight glasses of water a day. When exactly is that supposed to happen, while she's sleeping?

Years ago, I lived on the seventh floor of a mid-rise across from the Lincoln Park Zoo, and every now and then in the middle of the night, I would wake up to the sounds of what I supposed was the elephants having sex. It sounded pretty much the way you'd imagine: a primal, guttural sound, full of wailing and screeching and twisting and general agony. If I was lucky enough to fall back asleep, my dreams were royally jacked up, always incorporating the sounds coming from the zoo into my own personal nightmares. It was a long year.

When Sarah asked me to put my ear up to her stomach this morning, I was immediately transported back in my old apartment across from the zoo. No wonder she was physically ill 24 hours a day: two elephants were treating her large intestine like a cheap hotel room off the interstate.

While my wife suffers and I do my best to suffer along, the rest of the world doesn't know or care yet. No one goes out of his way for a woman who isn't visibly pregnant. Yesterday Sarah was downtown, and she couldn't find a legal parking spot, so she parked illegally as she has been known to do, and went off to run a few quick errands. On her way back to the car, she saw the policeman putting a ticket on her windshield. She begged, she pleaded, she appealed, but the guy just smiled and slipped the ticket under the wiper. Then he saw that her license plate had expired. Jackpot. Another ticket.

As Sarah fumed, the cop looked her up and down hungrily before adding the final insult. "You know what, though?" he said. "You're lookin' fine." Then he towed it.

Was Sarah upset? Obviously. Was she she majorly put out? You bet. But was she insulted? She had been the recipient of hideously overt sexual harassment, courtesy of one of Chicago's Finest, after all, a man sworn to serve and protect.

"I was about to lift up my shirt," she told me as we were walking around Lower Wacker in search of the auto pound that night. "Hell, I would've showed him my tits if it would've kept him from towing the car."

Pregnancy obviously does weird things to a woman's brain; this much I've learned. But when a world-class liberal who refuses watch the E! Network because it's degrading to women is a mere parking ticket away from her own Girls Gone Wild video, you know life has officially turned upside down.